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Medical School Admissions, Explained

3 Strategies For How To Get Into Medical School With A Low GPA

How to get into medical school with a low GPA strategy 1:

The strategy of getting into med school with a low GPA starts with understanding how medical school admissions committees view the GPA in relationship to the rest of the medical school admissions process. Admissions committees usually analyze the GPA with the MCAT in order to determine your ability to handle rigorous medical school coursework. Think of the GPA like a hurdle – once you pass the bar set by an admissions committee, the other glowing parts of your application can shine. Unfortunately, each school sets a different GPA bar.

The trick is to determine if your GPA is too low for medical school admissions. In general, a GPA less than 3.0 will not get you into a US-based medical school, no matter how fabulous you are in other ways. If your GPA is less than a 3.0, I suggest you increase it. Return to a post-baccalaureate or special masters program to improve your GPA and prove to admissions committees you can thrive in the competitive medical school academic environment.

How to get into medical school with a low GPA strategy 2:

The second strategy of how to get into medical school with a low GPA depends on knowing when your non-academic experiences and life story are good enough to overcome the less than stellar academic figures. Let’s say you have a 3.4 GPA, 37MCAT, graduated with honors from a prestigious university, and have phenomenal life experiences. Then I suggest the following strategy of how to get into medical school with a low GPA: ignore it. Your MCAT and life experiences should be enough to make up for the low GPA in medial school admissions. It’s probably best not to mention the low GPA in the medical school admissions process and let the rest of your life story speak for itself.

How to get into medical school with a low GPA strategy 3:

The third strategy of how to get into medical school with a low GPA depends on the reason for the low GPA. Some reasons are, well, reasonable. For example, what if you have a 3.2 GPA, 32 MCAT, and are from a disadvantaged background with an intriguing story. I recommend the following strategy of how to get into medical school with a low GPA: spin it. In your AMCAS personal statement or disadvantaged essay, briefly discuss how your life experiences affected your academics and show concrete evidence that you can handle medical school academics.

These are just a few examples to get you thinking about how to get into medical school with a low GPA. For more information, please check out the eBook: How To Get Into Medical School With A Low GPA.

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Welcome

As you well know, academics are a huge part of the medical school admissions process. This Academics Bucket is filled with items weighed by the medical school admissions committees when assessing your readiness to excel academically in medical school. These include: GPA, MCAT, undergraduate/graduate school strength, course strength, and major. I am often asked, “What GPA and MCAT do I need to get into Harvard Medical School.” I always answer, “It depends.” Many pre-meds think it takes a 4.0 GPA and 45 MCAT score to get into medical school. They are wrong. Pre-meds with 4.0 GPAs and 45 MCAT scores used my consulting services after they were NOT accepted to medical school. Sure, you generally need good grades and a decent MCAT score to get into medical school, but there is no exact GPA or MCAT score that guarantees admission. Medical school admissions committees look at a pre-med’s "whole package" when deciding who gets into medical school. Great grades and MCAT scores, a top-20 school pedigree, upper level classes, and a challenging or unique major are not enough to get into medical school. You need to be well-rounded and stand out among the other 40,000 applicants.